Ceremony at Old State Capitol recognizes the top student from each college and university in Illinois

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SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner announced today the 2016 outstanding college students who will be honored by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. The Academy will recognize these students during the annual Student Laureate Convocation at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 12 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

“President Lincoln’s legacy is a reminder of the power of public service and civic engagement here in Illinois and across the country,” said Governor Rauner. “The students chosen to receive this honor have exemplified the principles and ideals of the greatest Illinoisan through their hard work and dedication to their schools and communities.”

The Lincoln Academy’s Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Awards are presented for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities to seniors from each of the state’s four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities, and one student from the community colleges in Illinois.  At the Student Laureate Convocation, each student will receive a Student Laureate Medallion, along with a $1,000 educational grant and a certificate of achievement. This is the 42nd year Lincoln Academy has celebrated students’ excellence in Illinois.

Student Laureate Rachel Hile-Broad of the University of Chicago will speak on behalf of all the Laureates.  The invocation will be delivered by Eric Fulcomer, President of Rockford University, and the benediction will be delivered by Eureka College President Jamel Santa Cruze Wright.  The Sangamon Woodwind Consort will provide music, and a luncheon at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel will follow the Student Laureate Convocation.

The Lincoln Academy, unique among the 50 states, was established more than 50 years ago to honor distinguished citizens with the state’s highest award, the Order of Lincoln.  The 53rd Annual Convocation and Investiture of Laureates of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois will take place Saturday, May 6, 2017 at the Chicago History Museum.  




School                                                             Student                                               Home Town


Augustana College                                        Christopher S. Saladin                      Carthage, MO

Aurora University                                          Laura E. Dierking                              Aurora, IL

Benedictine University                                  Brandon Nguyen                               Oswego, IL

Blackburn College                                         Veronica Milligan                              Taylorville, IL

Bradley University                                         Charles J. Barchett                            Benton Harbor, MI

Chicago State University                               Darren David Martin                         Chicago, IL

Columbia College – Chicago                        Rasul Freelain                                   Chicago, IL

Concordia University Chicago                      Connor Lee Wondrasch                    Rochester, MN

DePaul University                                          Jessica Villagomez                            Willowbrook, IL

Dominican University                                   Raunel Urquiza                                 Chicago, IL

Eastern Illinois University                            Michaela Lee Crabtree                      Ellis Grove, IL

East-West University                                    Raymond E. Davis                             Chicago, IL

Elmhurst College                                           Marie A. Partyka                                Wood Dale, IL

Eureka College                                              Grace Alisha Kageha Mahasi           Peoria, IL

Governors State University                          Samantha Allen                                 Park Forest, IL

Greenville College                                         Claire Marie Sattler                           Barlett, IL

Illinois College                                               Daniel James Bacon                         Lincoln, IL

Illinois Institute of Technology                     Maya A. Al-Khouja                            Chicago, IL

Illinois State University                                 Lauren Ann Koszyk                           Bloomington, IL

Illinois Wesleyan University                         Paige Elizabeth Buschman               Lemont, IL

Judson University                                         Nicholas R Sebastian Modlin           Wheeling, IL

Knox College                                                  Joshua William Tvrdy                       Tucson, AZ

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Lake Forest College                                       Medora Kea Sweet                            St. Paul, MN

Lewis University                                            Alexandria M. Austring                     Aroma, IL

Lincoln College                                              Kristin N. Werry                                West Peoria, IL

Loyola University Chicago                            Sojourney Rallo                                 Northbrook, IL

MacMurray College                                       Jasmine Renae White                      Jacksonville, IL

McKendree University                                  Acadia Reynolds                                New Orleans, LA

Millikin University                                         Philip Ganley                                      Decatur, IL

Monmouth College                                        Emma C. Vanderpool                        Frankfort, IL

National Louis University                             Nancy Zhu                                          Elk Grove, IL

North Central College                                   Luis Antonio Tello                             Ramona, CA

North Park University                                   Anais Bakayoko                                 Chicago, IL

Northeastern Illinois University                   Alicia Ozier                                         Chicago, IL

Northern Illinois University                          Rebecca Ann Rasmussen                 Franklin Park, IL

Olivet Nazarene University                          Kaleb R. Miller                                   Canton, IL

Principia College                                            Annika Bryn Erickson                       Petaluma, CA

Quincy University                                          Nicholas James Nosbisch                 Effingham, IL

Robert Morris University                              Tameka Latasha Mason                   Peoria, IL

Rockford University                                      Ivy Hood                                             Roscoe, IL

Roosevelt University                                     Alice Beals                                          Somerset, NJ

St. Xavier University                                     Meghan Hill                                       North Aurora, IL

School of the Art Institute of Chicago          Al-Qawi Nanavati                              Mumbai

Southern Illinois University Carbondale     Steven Eugene Dew                          Downs, IL

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville   Chloe Anna Huelsmann                   Alton, IL

The University of Chicago                             Rachel Hile-Broad                             Normal, IL

Trinity Christian College                               Courtney Brynn Kalous                     Menomonee Falls, WI

Trinity International University                    Emylee Lee Thompson                     South Elgin, IL

University of Illinois Chicago                        Rafid Rahman                                   Chatham, IL

University of Illinois Springfield                   Kendra Baber                                     Normal, IL

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign    Shivaliben Bhargavkumar Patel      Urbana, IL

University of St. Francis                                Jeremy J. Grachan                            Crest Hill, IL

VanderCook College of Music                      Alexandro Gonzalez                          Bolingbrook, IL

Western Illinois University                           William J. Gradle                              St. Charles, IL

Wheaton College                                           Christopher J. Lee                             Indianapolis, IN

Lincoln Land Community College               Brandon D. Lewis                              Springfield, IL

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